Howard Marks 1945 – 2016

April 11, 2016

Howard Marks performing at The Garage, London in 2000

“In the early hours of 10th April 2016, Howard Marks died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his four loving children.

The best-selling author, life time campaigner, raconteur, stand-up comedian and counterculture hero died after battling bowel cancer that was diagnosed at a terminal stage in August 2014.

He fought the illness with grace and humour.

His death was 21 years to the day since his release from prison in the United States, his second bout of imprisonment for cannabis smuggling since his miraculous acquittal at the Old Bailey in 1980.

One of his last acts was to set up the Mr Nice foundation, to ensure the causes dear to him continue to receive his support.”

“I have tried every way I can think of to accelerate the day of Cannabis legalisation, thereby ceasing the torture of Cannabis smokers. I’ve flooded the country with the good herb, I’ve stood for Parliament, and I’ve skinned up in police stations. None of it has worked. I needed help. I got it from P.A.I.N., the best guys in the world” – Howard Marks (2000)

Iron Man Records had the pleasure of meeting, working with and listening to Howard Marks. He really was exactly as you would hope. A truly decent bloke, funny, humble and just Mr Nice. His life and work will live on…..

“You might control a lot of things Drugs Tsar, but you’ll never control my mind…..” Howard Marks from the song Let Me Grow More Weed he recorded with P.A.I.N

It is with great sadness I have to post news of his passing. Love to all his family and those who knew him.

Mark, Iron Man Records 11th April 2016

A.O.S.3 – Far and Few (OUT NOW on CD / LP / Digital Download)

December 1, 2015

A.O.S.3 - Far and Few (CD / LP / Digital Download)

“The Long Threatened Mythical 3rd A.O.S.3 LP – It only took twenty years, but we think it was worth the wait – a hugely revitalised A.O.S.3 take a journey down to the Waters Edge, almost certainly the best LP yet from the Sunderland Dub Punk pioneers.”

A.O.S.3 – Far and Few released 13th November, 2015

Members of A.O.S.3 on this recording: John Horabin, Colin Cumpson, Andy Brown, Kev Peberdy, Sam Goddard, Penny Layden, Oska ‘Shithands’ Hogg

Lyrics – John Horabin
Recording and Mixing – Sam Goddard
Art Direction – John Horabin
Cover painting – Drea Blackbird
Other writing credits – Chris Williams, Matt Pritchard
Rear cover Photo – Jef Hardy

Tracklisting:
1. Break Break Break 00:39
2. Ritalin 02:52
3. Living In a Barcode 05:19
4. Last of the Summer of 77 04:04
5. Goodnight John 03:38
6. Boy Who Cried 06:21
7. Free Hat 03:41
8. Friendly Fire 04:07
9. Dred-it 03:52
10. Churchill 03:24
11. Waters Edge 02:50
12. Sinking Sands 04:33

https://aos3.bandcamp.com/album/far-and-few-digital-download-vinyl-pre-order-lp

https://www.facebook.com/AOS3official/

Iron Man Records would like to release more music on Vinyl. You are invited to get Involved.

October 16, 2015

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs

I want to invite you to support Iron Man Records releasing more music on Vinyl via Patreon.

A small donation of something like $1 a month could help Iron Man Records release some of the recent CD and Digital releases on Vinyl.

Here is a list of recent releases that could be made available on Vinyl with your help:

Police Bastard - Dead To The World final 1600x1600

IMB6020 POLICE BASTARD – Dead To The World – Digital Release (23rd November 2015)

M:CAD DrawingsKey ProductionGKA94675 CD 4pp GF Softpack 2 x P

IMB6021 POLICE BASTARD – Confined CD / Digital 2013

John Sinclair - Mohawk CD front

IMB6022 JOHN SINCLAIR – Mohawk CD / Digital 2014

Death To Fanatics FRONT 1600x1600px

IMB6023 DEATH TO FANATICS – Iron Man Records 1999-2014 compilation CD 2014

TC Lethbridge - Moon Equipped 1600x1600

IMB6027 T.C. Lethbridge – Moon Equipped – Digital Release (23rd November 2014)

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC 1600x1600

IMB6028 T.C. Lethbridge – 2000 TC – Digital Release (23rd November 2014)

TC Lethbridge - Mina 1600x1600

IMB6029 T.C. Lethbridge – Mina – Digital Release (23rd November 2014)

Iron Man Records invites you to contribute to reducing the costs of producing albums on Vinyl. In exchange for your help, you will get a copy of everything the label produces, as it becomes available. Supporters will get digital files of everything, so they can also listen on portable electronic devices. You will also get all sorts of other benefits like free stuff from the iron man shop, stickers, email updates, free tickets, and whatever else I can think up as I go along.

If you like what Iron Man Records does, if you would like to encourage the label to produce new releases on Vinyl, and if you would like to support struggling musicians who are up against it on a daily basis, then please consider offering your support to the cause.

I have put a page up on Patreon here https://www.patreon.com/ironmanrecords

I think it is an interesting way to raise additional sums of money. This will help produce Vinyl in small quantities and to the highest standards. Patreon lets you make recurring monthly donations and helps to reduce the upfront costs of producing Vinyl.

Anyone who donates will get a copy of the Vinyl produced and a number of other benefits. Anything from $1 a month or more is actually really helpful. Knowing a small regular sum is coming in each month allows me to plan more effectively.

Everything the label produces is accessible for free online anyway so you can have anything, anytime if you look for it. Offering a small monthly donation means that regardless of what goes on, Iron Man Records can keep releasing music on vinyl and keep helping the bands and artists to survive.

Iron Man Records is trying hard, during a particularly tough time in the history of recorded music, to help musicians and artists develop a sustainable future. And to me, the simple way to do that, is give the bands and artists a good record to sell.

Iron Man Records wants to create Vinyl, something really special, something that presents music in a format that people want to keep and enjoy. That’s it really, life isn’t just about computers and social networking. There has to be an alternative. You have to make the world you want to live in.

A small donation could help Iron Man Records to release more music on Vinyl

October 5, 2015

I want to invite you to support Iron Man Records releasing more music on Vinyl via Patreon.

Police Bastard

I have been running Iron Man Records since 1996. I have never earnt anything, of any significance, from the work I have done so far, and neither have the bands. In fact the debts are what the label’s worth. It has been a true labour of love, and I like to think the music has made a lot of people happy. The label has released over 30 records by some fantastic bands and artists and continues to work hard on a daily basis. Iron Man Records wants to make all new releases from the label available on Vinyl and you are invited to help.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 7" singles

The journey has been back-breaking, and the label has generated a mountain of debt too. Everything I earn as a Tour Manager goes into keeping Iron Man Records moving forward. I manage to ensure that records come out every year and during difficult times perhaps every two years. But without fail, Iron Man Records continues to release records by some of the most interesting and talented artists, writers, and musicians. The label seeks to provide an alternative to the onslaught of pop culture and everything that goes with it. There has to be something that opposes the nonsense that we are surrounded by every day, in every format.

I don’t expect everyone to like what the record label releases, but at least the label gives you a choice. You don’t have to buy everything from “the man” and you don’t have to work for “the man” either. There’s always another way, and for Iron Man Records and the musicians, artists and writers it supports “the show must go on, by any means necessary, or until we are all eliminated”

I can handle running Iron Man Records by myself but I could use some help with releasing Vinyl. At a time when “ownership” of music is becoming less important, and digital services are making “access” a much easier way of listening to more music than ever before, I have been left with a problem to solve.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs

How can I continue to release physical records for people to “buy,” at a time when anyone, with any money left, can “access” more music for free, or at a fraction of the price, using streaming digital services?  

We all know how to google an album or a song and find it for free. We’ve all done it. We all know how to access music on social networks for free, and through Streaming services like Spotify. Some of us buy our music from download sites. I think its fair to say some of us listen to more music than ever before, and choose to only spend our money on music from our favourite groups.  

Iron Man Records has invested a lot of time and effort into making every release available through as many digital services as possible. From the stats, it is clear that plenty of people want to listen to the music Iron Man Records produces, but they don’t want to pay for it, they want it as cheap as possible and ideally for free. Fair enough, I can accept that.

It always makes me laugh when you hear people talking about how they wont buy music from Amazon because Amazon doesn’t pay its workers a fair wage and then get drawn into a discussion about what sites to use to find music for free without having to use Amazon.  

People forget that starving musicians have to go to band practice, pay for their rehearsals, record their music, and work out a way to release their music. Many musicians also have to plan and finance the costs of touring to promote their music all by themselves. Musicians also need to eat and have a roof over their head, and I do too.   These days, it’s interesting to note that many musicians would probably earn more per hour packing boxes and packages for Amazon, even on the poor wages that Amazon pays, than at most gigs they end up playing. But lets move on, you get the point.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs

Where does Iron Man Records find itself in the current digital world?

Streaming is taking off and dominating everything, people want “access” to more music and are very choosey about what music they actually want to “buy.” The CD in my view will be around for a while yet but, if you can already access the music as a digital file online either as a download, or a stream, why buy a CD as well? I have always loved vinyl as a format and I have reached the stage now where I want to start making every release on Iron Man Records available on Vinyl, as well as via streaming, downloads and on CD. To be fair, in the UK, not many people will buy the vinyl I produce, the real market for Vinyl is in places like Germany, or Czech Republic and other places in Europe who can’t get enough of it. Vinyl provides a good incentive for any band with Vinyl for sale to go and tour. And that’s what most of the bands on the label do when given the chance.

Some years ago I was talking with a friend in Czech Republic, while on tour with Police Bastard. He was talking about the state of music and he summed it up like this. “I google new bands and their music, and listen for free. If I find a band I like, I will find out where they are playing and go and see them live. If I like the concert I will buy their album on Vinyl even though I already have it as a digital file on my computer at home. The digital files are for listening to on my phone or sending to friends, the Vinyl is for my collection and I listen to it on my record player when I’m at home.

This friend was also the same person who booked Police Bastard to play, organised the promotion of the concert, cooked the food for the band and gave us a place to have a wash and sleep after the show. People like this are what makes being in a band worthwhile, they actually care enough about the music to do something to help.

It is clear to me that if you can produce anything of value in terms of your music, a digital version is necessary so people can access and even download your music. But if you are serious about your music, you must release it on Vinyl so the really passionate fans of your music, like our friends in Czech Republic, can get a copy to add to their collection and enjoy when they are at home.

Iron Man Records is capable of releasing records and making them available worldwide across pretty much every digital platform. Producing CDs of each release is also affordable within the context of selling physical copies, sending out to press and radio and keeping things ticking over.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs 

Vinyl however, is a little bit tricky. Producing a record on Vinyl is about three times more expensive than producing a cd, which means you have to sell three times more records to recover the upfront costs. I don’t think any of the bands are expanding their fanbase faster than the costs of producing their music on vinyl and no one wants to start putting prices up. So something has to give. Either the records are released as digital only, or the releases come out on CD first to test the market, or I have to find three times as much money upfront to release a record on Vinyl.  

This year has been a tough year, income from selling physical sales has continued to decline. In fact physical sales of everything both CD, Vinyl and DVD has steadily declined year on year since 2004 when I started keeping a record. Its not my fault or anything to do with the bands, the physical sales are declining because the market has a greater choice of music than ever before and what I am selling is becoming a smaller and smaller part of that market. Habits have changed and the market is increasingly choosing to access music to listen to via platforms like spotify rather than owning music via buying records to take home and play. Times are changing  and either Iron Man Records changes too or it’s game over.  

So where am I going with all this? Let me explain.  

Digital – I make every release through Iron Man Records available in a digital format and that is relatively cost effective and easy to do. From the stats at this end this is something people want, and a format that makes all the music the label has produced to date easy to access across digital platforms worldwide. As a record label that’s at least one job done that the bands don’t need to worry about themselves. I have yet to generate enough money through digital services to pay the bands any meaningful sum, but month by month the situation seems to be getting better. I remain hopeful for the future.  

CD – I have made every release through Iron Man Records available on CD right up to recent years and the boxes and boxes of unsold stock tell me that there is still a market for CDS but interest in physical CDs is steadily declining. Once I’ve sold the stock I’ve already got I doubt it will be replaced by more cds. 

Vinyl – I started out releasing records on Vinyl when I first started the label, over 18 years ago. To be honest I have still got half the stock of Vinyl I pressed all those years ago but that is probably more to do with the fact I pressed too many records in an enthusiastic, naive and hopeful state of mind.   What I am proposing to do is this. I want to start releasing records on Vinyl again but I need some help and support in reducing the front end costs of producing the Vinyl. I’m not asking anyone to pay for everything, nor am I asking anyone to pay me to run Iron Man Records, I can look after all that myself.

What I want to do is invite people to contribute to reducing the costs of producing albums on Vinyl. In exchange for help and support, they will get a copy of everything the label produces, as it becomes available. Supporters will get digital files of everything, so they can also listen on portable electronic devices, and they will get all sorts of other benefits. For example: free stuff from the iron man shop, stickers, email updates, free tickets, and whatever else I can think up as I go along.  

I would like to think that if you like what Iron Man Records does, if you would like to encourage the label to produce all releases on Vinyl, and if you would like to support struggling musicians who are up against it on a daily basis, then please consider offering your support to the cause.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs

I have put together a page on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/ironmanrecords which I think is an interesting way to raise additional sums of money. This will help produce Vinyl in small quantities and to the highest standards with regards to artwork and packaging. Patreon lets you make recurring monthly donations and thereby helps to reduce the upfront costs of producing music on vinyl.

Anyone who donates will get a copy of the vinyl produced and a number of other benefits. Anything from £1 a month or more is actually really helpful, and knowing a small regular sum is coming in each month allows me to plan more effectively.

Everything the label produces is accessible for free online anyway so you can have anything, anytime if you look for it. Offering a small monthly donation means that regardless of what goes on, Iron Man Records can keep releasing music on vinyl and keep helping the bands and artists to survive, and to make more music.

Let me be clear: Iron Man Records is not in the pop business. In fact it’s just not in business. The debts are what it’s worth. The label is trying hard, during a particularly tough time in the history of recorded music, to help musicians and artists develop a sustainable future. And to me, the simple way to do that, is give the bands and artists a Record to sell, at their gigs, that people would love to buy. Iron Man Records wants to create Vinyl, something really special, something that presents music in a format that people want to keep and enjoy. That’s it really, life isn’t just about computers and social networking. There has to be an alternative.

Have a look here and any comments, good or bad are invited.

Mark – Iron Man Records 5th October 2015.

Iron Man Records – a Birmingham based Independent Record Label

July 15, 2015

Iron Man Records Logo for print

Iron Man Records is a Birmingham based independent record label, founded in 1996. The label has released recordings by: P.A.I.N, Police Bastard, John Sinclair, Nightingales, Steve Fly, TC Lethbridge, Dufus, Sensa Yuma, and Last Under The Sun, amongst others.

“Music has no flag, no government, no police. Nobody owns it, nobody controls it. Music crosses all borders of geography, language, culture and belief. Music brings people together…..” – Reasons Why

Iron Man Records is run by a Music Promoter and Tour Manager – Mark Badger and a Script writer and Lawyer with a music background – Kevan Tidy.

Mark Badger founded Birmingham Music Network, in 2000.  Since 1994, Mark has organised more than 1000 gigs around Birmingham as Badger Promotions. Additionally, Mark Badger is an active member of two Birmingham based bands: Last Under The Sun and Police Bastard.

Before joining Iron Man Records, Kevan Tidy was a musician and a songwriter. Kevan has worked as a lawyer for many years and can help aspiring inventors, film makers, writers, and musicians and has worked at all levels.

Iron Man Records offers a number of services from Releasing Music, Tour Management and Online Strategy to Legal Advice. The label works closely with several radio stations, including: Music World Radio and Radio Free Amsterdam to give good new music a chance to be heard.

Iron Man Records is about artistic freedom. The label demonstrates its approach by supporting musicians who have something to say and wish to produce music in their own time, and on their own terms.

– Magdalena Szytko, Birmingham, 2015

Iron Man Records - Advert 2015 For Web

P.A.I.N Tour 2015

January 22, 2015

P.A.I.N Tour Dates 2015
P.A.I.N have a number of tour dates for 2015 and more to be confirmed soon. Here are the dates so far:

Jan 24th – The Riverside, Sheffield

March 7th – The Birdcage, Southsea

April 4th – Zonhoven Punk Fest

May 23rd – Fibbers, Dublin

June 6th – The Hairy Dog, Derby

June 12-14th – Symmetry Fest Norfolk

July 3rd – Birmingham

July 4th – Degeneration Fest, Telford

Aug 6-9th – Rebellion Blackpool

Aug 13th-16th – Boomtown, Winchester

Sept 11th-12th – Shrubfest, Norfolk

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics.

Phil Pain: Vox and Guitar
Captain Ozbert: Vox and Bass
Dan the Man: Vox and Drums
Steuie Boh: Vox and Percussion and Saxophone
Steo: Vox and Samples

P.A.I.N Gig Bookings & P.A.I.N record or live Reviews:

Iron Man Records: (uk+44) 07974 746810 email: mark at ironmanrecords.co.uk

P.A.I.N Facebook Page

Discography:

P.A.I.N : “Oh My God! We’re Doing it.” CD Buy it

P.A.I.N featuring Howard Marks : “Let Me Grow More Weed” CD single Buy it

P.A.I.N : “Our Universe Commences Here” Gatefold Vinyl Buy it

P.A.I.N for Download on iTunes

P.A.I.N releases are also available through Amazon and the usual suspects like HMV.

P.A.I.N - May 23rd 2015 Fibber Magees

P.A.I.N – Our Universe Commences Here Vinyl distributed by Cargo

September 30, 2014

P.A.I.N - O.U.C.H - Our Universe Commences Here 1600x1600

Track Listings

1. Schtum
2. P.A.I.N
3. Blue Ska
4. Rocking Cross De Borda
5. Neighbourhood Watch
6. Super Drugs
7. A-Z
8. S.T.A.H.B.M
9. Eastern Dub
10. Chickens

Double Gatefold Vinyl (Distributed By Cargo 13 Oct 2014)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Iron Man Records

O.U.C.H is the long awaited second album from P.A.I.N. The South London conspiracy offer the world a radioactive audio file crammed full of Nuclear Dub, Genetically modified Ska, and BSE laced Punk Rock. The album is about the prison system, its use against the defenceless, and laws that cannot be defended. The band have found allies in unexpected places, such as the well documented liason with Howard Marks and the support of Kate Bush. Always outspoken, P.A.I.N see their music as a vehicle of political expression; There is much more to Our Universe than the prohibition of Cannabis, you only have to look at the poetic irony of simultaneous fuel protests and widespread environmental catastrophe. Everyone will talk of the necessity for radical change, yet still, nothing changes. Are we all just consumers for the profit of the IMF? Do our lives really amount to a column of figures? Just who has the power now? Surprisingly, it’s still all of us. The Protest Movement has become global in response, and we now have a genuine opportunity to fight back at the real enemy; no longer the copper, or politician, but the evil bastards who claim with a straight face that they own 90% of the worlds resources. We are all born on this planet and every single human being alive has an equal right to life, air, water, and food. They tell us that this is being naive and unrealistic. We tell them that we will never rest until our demands are met, they had better sleep lightly – P.A.I.N.

Original sleeve artwork by top British cartoonist Pete Loveday whose Saga of Russell comic books can be found around the world. P.A.I.N feature ex-members of R.D.F and A.O.S.3. Members of P.A.I.N can also be found in SUICIDE BID, RUBELLA BALLET, LESS and LEGION OF DYNAMIC DISCHORD.

P.A.I.N - OUCH poster 150 dpi

P.A.I.N – Oh My God! We’re doing it! CD distributed by Cargo

September 29, 2014

P.A.I.N - Oh My God! We're Doing It....We're Fuckin' Doing It....!! 1600x1600

Track Listings
1. Intro/Beltane
2. Everything Must Go
3. Pork Dub
4. British Justice
5. No Leaders For The Free
6. Money
7. Oh No! It’s The Pigs
8. Lighters
9. Punx With Guns

Audio CD (Distributed by Cargo 13 Oct 2014)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Iron Man Records

This is the re-issue on Iron Man Records of P.A.I.N’s classic first album. Originally released on Inner State back in 1995 the album sold out and after the collapse of Inner State had been lost until now. The Original artwork has been reconstructed to be as close to the original as possible and the track listing includes all the classics from the P.A.I.N set.

The album includes the work of Phil, Dan and Ozzy who were all in R.D.F. Phil has also played guitar with RUBELLA BALLET and been involved with the band called SUICIDE BID. John is no longer performing with the band and is currently working with a reformed A.O.S.3. (John also did LEGION OF DYNAMIC DISCHORD and later a band called LESS)

This record was seen by P.A.I.N as the third in a trilogy, RDF: Raggamuffin Statement, A.O.S.3: Diversionary Tactics and this cd P.A.I.N: Oh My God! We’re Doing it.

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, and pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their addled heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics. The Band has supported numerous underground struggles and pressure groups along the way, working extensively with groups like Reclaim the Streets, Anti-globalisation groups, Hunt Saboteurs, Anti-fascists, Squatters, Mad Pride, MacLibel, and many more….

That’s the politics, however, it would be to sell the band short to say the story stops there…They are, like most punk bands, part Pistols, part Spinal Tap (actually, was there much difference?) and the best things about P.A.I.N are the stories of what has happened to them over the years, genuinely unbelievable situations…Contrary to the many rumours circulating, the band have not split up, they never did. The band are alive and well and gigging all over the place, writing songs for the next album. They have a page on facebook too.

“Through raw dub, reggae and punk rock P.A.I.N. challenge inconsistent politics and attack and question through intelligent and bright lyrics: “So many thousands across the country with nowhere to go at night, so they take over empty derelict houses to call their own and try to put right, can’t you see that squatting is not a moral wrong it’s a cry for help from those in need, anxious for a roof over their head when the council are deaf to their pleas”. There are bands that just use politics as a front and something to sing about and there are bands that truly believe in what they are writing and singing about and who are devoted to it even when they’re not making music and that’s P.A.I.N. Their sound and attitude is unquestionably English and this record could have come out in the late ’70’s, early ’80’s or really anytime up to the present. It’s old-fashioned and fresh all at once and it’s a pity that you don’t really get bands like this anymore….really staunch, raw political bands. It’s all just silly shit these days where very few punk rock bands have got anything really important to say.”

 “P.A.I.N (Propaganda and Information Network for the uninitiated) were/are a band formed from the ashes of the seminal RDF (Radical Dance Faction) and the festy-dub-ska-punk AOS3 (named after Augustus Owsley Stanley III, maker of much LSD and roadie for Grateful Dead). With that background in mind, “Oh My God…” manages to combine a hard radical political edge with catchy tunes, skanking dub and some original sampling!

At just over 40 minutes with 9 tracks including the RDF songs “Punx with guns” and “Lighters” (with the same tune as Dum-Diggy on Ragamuffin Statement) there is something for everyone on here. From the slowed-out dub reggae of “Beltane” and the ludicrously catchy “Money” to the punked up “British Justice” and “Oh no! It’s the Pigs,” this album incorporates the best of the earlier bands’ sounds. The political angle makes this album sublime and not done in a conventional anarcho-ranting way but fusing some humour, simple choruses and catchy tunes such as “If you go down to Sainsbury’s, the special offer of the week is that it’s free” and “British justice… British justice… I can’t make sense of it ‘cos I’m stupid.” Vegetarianism, environmental activism, anti-capitalism, self-organisation and anti-statism are among the topics covered in songs, but not in a preach-shove-down-throat way but to the relaxing dub beats and bouncing British punk. To round it all off, the album ends with armed revolution on the streets of Britain!

Admittedly the recording quality could be a tad better but by standards of other DIY punk/reggae/free-festival types, it’s not that bad! To top it all off, the title comes from the truly brilliant anarchist-propaganda Tin Tin “Breaking Free” comic which makes for a great album cover and t-shirt!

“Oh my God…” brings together all the best elements of AOS3, RDF, the anarchist-influences, free festivalling and biting satire. Still going strong despite losing John from AOS3, P.A.I.N manage to make one of the best ska-dub-punk-esque releases which you can come back to again and again. Finally, to top it all off, many hours will be wasted laughing at the booklet that comes with it demonstrating all the political acts against the state, government, Tories and much more. May the session continue!” By MH Lambert on 8 Oct 2007.

P.A.I.N- Oh My God! Net Advert

The Culture Industry: Enlightenment or Mass Deception?

February 10, 2014

“Pop culture in general is the main thing they use to keep young people from developing any ideas.” – John Sinclair.

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary releases his new album called “Mohawk,” on Iron Man Records, on Monday 24th March 2014 with distribution by Cargo. The music was written and arranged by Steve Fly who mirrored John’s poems in the music by initially combing the tempo of the original songs recorded by John ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie, Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker and Thelonious Monk. Steve The Fly is a native of Stourbridge UK, now an Amsterdam resident who plays drums, spins vinyl, writes novels and literary and cultural commentary. He also maintains a flock of websites and works in various other art forms without visible restraint.  His other music projects have included New Flesh, Garaj Mahal, Temple Dragon band, of course he is now full time with John Sinclair.

John has been on TV news recently with an appearance on CNN talking to Atika Shubert about the Marijuana laws in Holland, and the value of these laws in attracting tourism. The piece makes an interesting overview of the issues involved and Cafe 420 is featured including an interview with the owner. Perhaps Birmingham City Council’s tourism department could learn a trick or two.

For those into poetry and performance: Amiri Baraka, the poet, playwright and political organizer died last month at the age of 79. Baraka was a leading force in the black arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963 he published “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” known as the first major history of black music to be written by an African American. A year later he published a collection of poetry titled “The Dead Lecturer” and won an Obie Award for his play, “Dutchman.” After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 he moved to Harlem and founded the Black Arts Repertory Theater. In the late 1960s, Baraka moved back to his hometown of Newark and began focusing more on political organizing, prompting the FBI to identify him as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the pan-African movement in the United States.” Baraka continued writing and performing poetry up until his hospitalization late last year, leaving behind a body of work that greatly influenced a younger generation of hip-hop artists and slam poets. If you don’t know his work, find out more for yourself.

For those assembling posters and flyers for gigs across the region, January also said Farewell to Gary Grimshaw, a Rock Art Legend, the man whose posters and covers defined the Detroit rock scene. John Sinclair wrote a few lines that I think are worth sharing with Midlands based musicians and artists here “Gary Grimshaw was a great creative artist who helped define the spirit and feeling of an entire era with his brilliant posters for the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, his artwork for underground newspapers like the Detroit Sun, the Fifth Estate and the San Francisco Oracle, and his posters and record covers for the MC-5 and other bands.

“He was a music lover first and foremost, best friends in high school with Rob Tyner of the MC5, a beautiful cat and the most tireless and dedicated art worker I’ve ever known. We were partners in crime at the Grande Ballroom and the Detroit Artists Workshop, we founded Trans-Love Energies and the White Panther Party together, we worked side by side for several years while he beautifully interpreted all my ideas for cultural and social change into public artwork that could make people want to do things they’d never done before.

“After the movement ended in the mid-’70s we went our separate ways but reunited in Detroit in the 1980s in partnership with Frank & Peggy Bach to serve the Motor City music community for several years before Gary moved to the San Francisco Bay area. He was one of my greatest friends of all time, most valued co-worker and constant inspiration.”

“The Revolution is totally committed to bringing people out of their shells and into each others arms. The music is the source and effect of our spirit flesh and we demand a free music and a free high energy source that will drive us wild into the streets…..yelling and screaming and tearing down everything that would keep people slaves” – John Sinclair

John Sinclair relives his ups and downs with the MC5 in the next issue of MOJO, on sale from January 28, 2014.

Last Under The Sun have more gigs planned, 15th Feb at Rock Zombie Dudley and 16th Feb at The Flapper and Firkin Birmingham. You can listen to and download all their music for free here: http://lastunderthesun.bandcamp.com or you can find their cds in the Iron Man Shop. The band are off to Belgium and Holland in March.

Police Bastard are assembling tour dates to promote their new album, Confined, which continues to generate interesting reviews. A few quotes include:

“Thought-provoking monologues and confrontational lyrics bring you on a cold, doom-laden journey of perpetual war, psychological mind control and disillusionment.”

“…an anti-theistic slice of brutality, which leaves the listener in no doubt that Police Bastard mean business. You even get a quote from Richard Dawkins about teaching the bible as fiction. Musically they give us huge chugging riffs on “Brought To Our Knees”, which tackles the blandness of multi-national companies infecting the high street, set against the backdrop of the widening gap between rich and poor. For those that like their anthems loud and stompy, “Sick Sick System” will no doubt win a seal of approval with its knock about Punk mayhem and catchy refrain, ‘sick sick system, same old bullshit’.

“….From Mark Orton‘s cover art through to the final song, “Fortress,” Police Bastard have presented an album that uses hardcore’s battering ram approach to push through a series of songs that depict how humanity has destroyed the Earth. Lines such as “We’re sealing our fate” hammer home the idea that mankind has taken the world to the edge of existence…”

“Confined” was recorded at Framework Studios, Birmingham and is out now.

The Nightingales – Born out of Birmingham’s original punk group The Prefects, the Nightingales have stubbornly ploughed their own furrow in the field of alternative rock n roll for three decades. 2006 saw the release of “Out Of True” on Iron Man Records and the return of a reformed Nightingales after some years away. The band have not wasted much time since then and yet another new album is on the way for 2014.

The band hope to announce tour dates for UK/Europe for  April and May and some Festivals to be confirmed for over the summer/autumn 2014. There may be some United States dates in Sept/Oct time too.

Nightingales are planning a 7″ 45rpm to be released at some point & another album to be recorded later in the year for early 2015 release.

Described in John Robb’s definitive post punk biography ‘Death To Trad Rock’ as “the misfits’ misfits”, the band has constantly garnered praise and respect from other artists and received endless glowing press reports, particularly for their live shows. Led by singer/lyricist Robert Lloyd (‘The most underestimated songwriter of his generation’ according to Ben Thompson in the Independent) the latest incarnation of the Nightingales are back again with a new album recorded at Faust studio in September 2013 for release in spring 2014. There will be a vinyl lp and the record label & title will be confirmed soon.

Blog: On the Iron Man website I’ve posted a series of interesting articles like The Bitcoin Revolution By Steven Hager and Free The Weed 35 by John Sinclair.

The Bitcoin Revolution: “Bitcoin is rapidly transforming the financial landscape with a peer-to-peer solution for wealth transfer. It has already shown capacity to absorb tremendous resources and withstand crisis sell-offs. Read this short ebook to understand why you should invest in this revolutionary computer art meets cryptography concept. I came late to Bitcoin and have zero understanding of the technical complexities of cryptography, but I do realize Bitcoin is open source and completely transparent and completely non-predatory in design, a real departure from our banking industry. Any assets moved into Bitcoin virtually disappear from the public record at this point and do not become taxable events until they are brought back into the system. Bitcoin has numerous benefits to offer and represents a real threat to our current corrupt money system. The media has been relentlessly negative on bitcoins for a reason: they threaten the status quo.”

Free The Weed: “….people in the cannabis community are looking on in wonder as the United States takes its first tentative steps toward legalizing marijuana for use by all thinking persons over 18 years of age.

Like they say in New Orleans, a lotta people don’t know that marijuana is not actually legal in the Netherlands, although over-the-counter sales of cannabis has been allowed under what they call a “grey area” in the law which amounts to a sort of super-decriminalization policy that not only eliminates arrest but lets smokers buy and ingest the sacrament in designated coffee shops without police interference.

But growing, distribution, wholesale transfer and delivery are still fully illegal, growers are tracked down and arrested, distributors are intercepted, delivery remains fully clandestine, shop owners are prohibited from stocking more than 500 grams of cannabis products on the premises at any one time, and even the consumer is limited to purchases of no more than 5 grams per trip.”

If you are a rapper or organise shows for rap and hip hop, Prop Anon, from New York, is looking at Touring Europe in July 2014. If you want to book him to play email him at propanon23@gmail.com. Theres a post with a few videos I like on the website.

P.A.I.N play in Brighton on 15th March and a number of other tour dates are coming up. Keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Framework Recording Studios is now fully operational in Digbeth with Simon Reeves at the controls. The recording studio is based at Blotto on Floodgate Street, Birmingham, B55ST. If you are interested in recording at Framework call 07790 158210 or email siframework@gmail.com.

Tour Mangement: In addition to running Iron Man Records, I also work as a Tour Manager and spend a lot of time helping bands find just about everything else tour related. If you need a tour manager or need help sourcing a good vehicle at the right price email mark@ironmanrecords.co.uk or call (+44) 07974 746810.

WARNING: Culture Industry is a term coined by Theodor Adorno (1903–69) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), who argued in “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception,” that popular culture is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods – through film, radio and magazines – to manipulate the masses into passivity; the easy pleasures available through consumption of popular culture make people docile and content, no matter how difficult their economic circumstances. Culture industries may cultivate false needs; that is, needs created and satisfied by capitalism. True needs, in contrast, are freedom, creativity, or genuine happiness….Culture not only mirrors society, but also takes an important role in shaping society through the processes of standardization and commodification, creating objects rather than subjects. By standardizing the consumer’s needs, the Culture Industry is manipulating the consumer to desire what it produces. The outcome is that mass production feeds a mass market that minimizes the identity and tastes of the individual consumers who are as interchangeable as the products they consume. Think about it.

For more on all of the above and to buy music by the artists visit www.ironmanrecords.net

A sense of solidarity Vol #1 by The Warzone Collective

January 10, 2014

ALL proceeds go towards keeping the doors of the Warzone centre open.

1.The Steady Decline – Death Parties 02:37
2.Runnin’Riot – Bold as Brass 02:52
3.Hardcase – Our Guitars kill fascists 02:22
4.The Defects -HILL STREET 02:17
5.Aggressors B.c – A.G.G.R.E.S.S.O.R.S 02:50
6.Low Street – Fight 03:28
7.The Decline – Always run 02:46
8.Decoy47 – St Christy 02:37
9.Divisions – Take my stand 02:58
10.Monkhouse -Say nothing 02:42
11.P.A.I.N – British justice 04:46
12.Beer Fridge – Nuclear Acid 01:50
13.Setting off Sirens – Papercuts 02:22
14.Suckin Diesel-TV Licence Men of The Apocalypse 03:20
15.Buck Eejit-Cameron (you c**t) 02:19

Warzone Collective began in 1984 when a few local musicians decided to pool their efforts, seize the times and get their own venue, practice rooms and social space. By 1986 the Collective opened its first premises in Belfast which provided a vegetarian cafe/drop in centre (Giros), practice and office space, venue and screen printing workshop. It developed organically along DiY lines and soon became a focal point for alternative culture in the city. In 1991 the Collective moved to a larger and more ambitious venue. Over the years thousands of people passed through the doors and were exposed to new ideas centred around the DiY ethos, and the Centre became the counter-cultural hub for the greater Belfast area and beyond. Towards the end of 2003 the Centre closed for a number of different reasons but it left a gap in radical Belfast culture. In 2007 discussions began and eventually in 2009 the Collective reformed and by 2011 a new centre was opened once again. Where it goes from here depends on all those who get involved.

Warzone Collective is everyone who helps!

To book an event in the Centre please contact warzonegigcollective@riseup.net for an application form.

For information on upcoming events visit the Warzone forum or www.facebook.com/pages/Warzone-gig-collective/156649134364054

Massive thanks to all the bands who contributed tracks towards this project!

We are all we have.

P.A.I.N – Brighton, 15th March, 2014

January 7, 2014

The Green Door Store, Trafalgar Arches, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton, BN1 4FQ. Doors 7pm Tickets £6
P.A.I.N - Brighton 15th March 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014
19:00 until 22:30

BRIGHTON : The Green Door Store
Trafalgar Arches
Lower Goods Yard
Brighton
BN1 4FQ

The Surplus People present a mash up night of punk/ska/dub/reggae/rockerbilly with…

P.A.I.N (Propaganda And Information Network)
&
RATBAG
&
HOLLYWOOD ASSASSINS

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics. The Band has supported numerous underground struggles and pressure groups along the way.

Advance tickets here: www.wegottickets.com/event/250937

Buy P.A.I.N records and T-shirts here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

P.A.I.N – Brighton, 15th March, 2014

January 7, 2014

The Green Door Store, Trafalgar Arches, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton, BN1 4FQ. Doors 7pm Tickets £6
P.A.I.N - Brighton 15th March 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014
19:00 until 22:30

BRIGHTON : The Green Door Store
Trafalgar Arches
Lower Goods Yard
Brighton
BN1 4FQ

The Surplus People present a mash up night of punk/ska/dub/reggae/rockerbilly with…

P.A.I.N (Propaganda And Information Network)
&
RATBAG
&
HOLLYWOOD ASSASSINS

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics. The Band has supported numerous underground struggles and pressure groups along the way.

Advance tickets here: www.wegottickets.com/event/250937

Buy P.A.I.N records and T-shirts here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

A.O.S.3 – Gig dates for 2013

February 6, 2013

A.O.S.3

A.O.S.3 DATES FOR 2013

Feb 23rd – London Pipeline with Citizen Fish, fighting Fiction and the Drones

March 15th Lancaster tbc?
March 16th Doncaster tbc

April 19th Brighton Punx picnic

May 17th- Belgium tbc
May 18th- Dijon Les Tanneries
May 19th- Paris tbc

Rogues picnic- exact date yet undisclosed

The band have also offered to come and play for the Horsedrawn Camp- but have’nt heard anything else back yet…believe this will be on Beltane…

July 12- Breton, tbc
July 13th- Breton, festival more details soon
July 14th- france/ belgium tbc

September 6 and 7th

Dirty Weekend Festival in Wrexham, with Citizen Fish, Oi Polloi and many many more…

September 20-21-22- Alchemy festival, Lincolnshire (highlight of last year for us, hands down…)

A.O.S.3

The band are actively seeking gigs again, and are talking to promoters in Liverpool and many other spots- if you want us to play near you, get a promoter to get in touch- there is still space!

https://www.facebook.com/AOS3official

A.O.S.3

Iron Man Records – Online Shop

January 21, 2013

Iron Man Records - shop a5 advert 150 dpi
The Iron Man shop sells Punk, Dub, Rock, Metal, Acoustic and Alternative music on CD, Vinyl, DVD, and Video. The shop also stocks books, comic books and rare or hard to find items.

I only sell what I listen to, I like, and I recommend. Every item is brand new and undamaged, no second hand or damaged goods.

Try it, you might like what you find. http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

Iron Man Records – Online Shop

January 14, 2013

Iron Man Records - shop a5 advert 150 dpi

The Iron Man shop sells Punk, Dub, Rock, Metal, Acoustic and Alternative music on CD, Vinyl, DVD, and Video. The shop also stocks books, comic books and rare or hard to find items.

I only sell what I listen to, I like, and I recommend. Every item is brand new and undamaged, no second hand or damaged goods.

Try it, you might like what you find. http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

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